Well, a lot has been written about the struggles which long-distance relationships go through generally speaking, but have we ever wondered about the toll that this pandemic may be taking on friendships, particularly since every friendship now qualifies for the tag of long-distance friendships?
The pandemic has changed the idea of friendship for many young people across the globe. It has separated hostel roommates and paying guest house flatmates, who were the sounding board & the chosen family for each other. Many young people migrate to large cities, where friends become confidants and a spinal support system. The pandemic has forced many best friends to part ways, not knowing when they will get to be their same carefree selves, back in the trusted company of each other.
So, what can you do to ensure that your long-distance friendships survive the pandemic?
1. Stay connected.
The most obvious and yet often, the most ignored way of staying connected. While it is easy to be consumed by different schedules, family commitments, etc., and not find time to stay connected, this is something that you & your friends need to talk about, and manage time for. Being connected with close friends, will act in direct contradiction to the feelings of loneliness, which many people are reporting right now.
2. Organize activities together.
Thanks to technology, you and your friends can still engage in a range of activities together, and share a laugh or pull a leg or two! Play games, organize a Netflix watch party, or get on a group call. You can even celebrate momentous occasions such as graduations, bachelorettes, and baby showers; while it will not be the same as celebrating physically together, it will bring a sense of joy as you share your important moments with loved ones.
3. Plan a surprise.
While you may not be able to ring the doorbell of that close friend at midnight to bring in their birthday, you sure can order a surprise delivery during the non-curfew hours, to make them feel special (thanks to our super-efficient e-commerce delivery agents). Planning small moments like these, keeps the bond going strong.
4. Rework your expectations.
Let’s accept it! As human beings we have tons of expectations, and particularly from people who we are close to. So, we are bound to have expectations from our friends. Assess your expectations; are they realistically possible for your friends to accomplish during the ongoing times? Would you be able to fulfill the same expectation, if your friend was holding on to the same? It’s important that we adjust our expectations, as per the current scenario, to avoid putting a dent into our friendships.
And just with a lot of things, there is a silver lining here too! The pandemic, we can sufficiently say, is challenging the belief that closeness in friendships requires physical proximity. It’s teaching us the important lesson, that friendships can survive the long-distance. Tap into the hundreds of ways to stay connected with your friends, and for all you know, your bond will come out stronger than ever before.
Illustrator Credit - Rhi James (Hebe Studio)